Progression: the Drug of Any Game - and something Bannerlord Needs a LOT more of...

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Sweynforkbeard

Sergeant at Arms
I don't know why they chose for the scope of the story to be this large. Imo it should've been a tutorial where you: Do the first tutorial recruitment and battle -> reach tier 1 clan -> get your family back -> get the Dragon Banner (maybe decrease the necessary number of Neretzes' Folly stories to 5) -> join a kingdom or an empire faction or form your own faction using the Dragon Banner -> Istiana/Arzagos is conspiring against you by preparing a massive army -> you are tasked with conquering a town & 2 castles or something while also delaying the building of a conspiracy army by doing the conspiracy quests -> you need to defeat a "giga" army of 1,5k troops or something (with the size depending on how you handled the conspiracy) commanded by Istiana or Arzagos that is coming to take the fiefs you took (this can also be a tutorial in siege defence) -> you beat them, capture Istiana/Arzagos, choose to either permanently imprison or execute them -> game congratulates you for beating the main "story", plays a cutscene, maybe gives a reward and the game continues as normal sandbox.
Yes, or some other, more or less (preferably less) arbitrary cut off points where you, as a player, can say you have accomplished your goal. Get a title; the warlord, champion, or something something.

One thing that might also satisfy, at least some players, might be to provide the player with opportunites to create very rich towns. Aka stay in a corner and just build "tall".
 

AxiosXiphos

Sergeant Knight
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
Yes, or some other, more or less (preferably less) arbitrary cut off points where you, as a player, can say you have accomplished your goal. Get a title; the warlord, champion, or something something.

One thing that might also satisfy, at least some players, might be to provide the player with opportunites to create very rich towns. Aka stay in a corner and just build "tall".
As much as I often mock the feature. Warband had a book reading mechanic - where you could effectively sit in one place and just build-up a certain skill. It wouldn't be the worst option for giving players something to 'do' if they wish to kind of 'sit & wait' for awhile as the world moves and they build gold.
 
I agree, honestly opening up the possibility of "playing tall" can also be accomplished relatively simply by putting a proper "softcap" on prosperity by decreasing the prosperity gain at reasonable intervals and either slowing the prosperity growth by a lot or outright stopping it when the town is eating away at its foodstocks, therefore having equilibrium at "max" prosperity unless you conquer a nearby castle to provide extra goods for your town, increasing the maximum.
 

Sweynforkbeard

Sergeant at Arms
As much as I often mock the feature. Warband had a book reading mechanic - where you could effectively sit in one place and just build-up a certain skill. It wouldn't be the worst option for giving players something to 'do' if they wish to kind of 'sit & wait' for awhile as the world moves and they build gold.
There wasnt that many books around though. So, it wouldnt do all that much.
 

Sweynforkbeard

Sergeant at Arms
I agree, honestly opening up the possibility of "playing tall" can also be accomplished relatively simply by putting a proper "softcap" on prosperity by decreasing the prosperity gain at reasonable intervals and either slowing the prosperity growth by a lot or outright stopping it when the town is eating away at its foodstocks, therefore having equilibrium at "max" prosperity unless you conquer a nearby castle to provide extra goods for your town.
Or you could simply have a warehouse feature so the player can aquire and dump food into theirs towns.


And maybe, if we go really crazy, caravans owned by you could prioritise bringing goods too and from towns owned by you!
 

AxiosXiphos

Sergeant Knight
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
Or you could simply have a warehouse feature so the player can aquire and dump food into theirs towns.


And maybe, if we go really crazy, caravans owned by you could prioritise bringing goods too and from towns owned by you!
Technically you can 'sort of' already do this. Selling food items into a town increases it's food value. You can also do this to enemies by buying up all their food before siegeing.
 

Sweynforkbeard

Sergeant at Arms
Technically you can 'sort of' already do this. Selling food items into a town increases it's food value. You can also do this to enemies by buying up all their food before siegeing.
I know, though it is perhaps a bit too micromanagement. Dump some but not too much.
 
I mean castles and towns eating food from your stash (it's a warehouse already) would be a good addition, but it doesn't solve the issue of towns growing too much too fast and then starving. You would essentially be a caravan that brings food to the town for no profit and I imagine it would get boring real fast. They need to solve the problem by adding a proper softcap, and then they can give us a warehouse.
 

Sweynforkbeard

Sergeant at Arms
I mean castles and towns eating food from your stash (it's a warehouse already) would be a good addition, but it doesn't solve the issue of towns growing too much too fast and then starving. You would essentially be a caravan that brings food to the town for no profit and I imagine it would get boring real fast. They need to solve the problem by adding a proper softcap, and then they can give us a warehouse.
I said for some people, not all:smile:
 
By the way, I just realized that they can enhance the "governor" playstyle (well first by giving us the possibility of being the governor as long as we're in a certain radius of the fief) by giving us the option of putting down a rebellion where we can fight in the town against angry peasants, armed militia and some mercenaries in the town centre and on the streets. We could have the option of supressing it the easy but bloody way with our troops using their normal weapons (and if we succeed, the town loses massive prosperity and we lose a lot of relation with the notables) or the hard way of supressing it with only blunt weapons such as quarterstaves, bludgeons, hammers etc. If we succeed either way, the loyalty and security shoot up to 80.

I don't think this would even be that hard to implement, just spawn a set number of peasants, militia and mercenaries (like 50) on the street and we choose our option (bloody or blunt), our troops (maybe 30?) like we do for keep battles and voila! Street battle mechanics already exist, it happens after we take out the thugs in a back alley and wait in town for a few days.
 

FireBlazinCandy

Maybe something more simplistic that added purely role playing mechanics:

"A message from Garios has arrived - and it's a box with the head from a captured family member."

All that would have to happen would be for the game to then kill off your brother (or any other of your captured companions).

"A message from a travelling merchant - I have heard of a formidable warrior/doctor/Scout being held in Seonon prison."

Just stick some good companions in jail's dotted across the map that you can break out, rather them just all sitting in taverns by themselves and instantly available and found using the encyclopedia. It would give more of a reason to use the prison break feature.

That would give you a vendetta to end the northern empire and at least give you a reason for starting a war, other than just because there's nothing else to do

"A message from your council - The Sarranid's are suspected to have been funding a grass roots rebel group in the capital of Phaidon." Followed by - "Phaidon is now in control of a rebel group", if not addressed (cleared out bandits and undercover Sarrinads in the back alleys).

Simple mechanics that would not be difficult to implement..or would not have been in any forethought had gone into the game other than tinkering with pilas and percentages.
 
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Sweynforkbeard

Sergeant at Arms
Maybe something more simplistic that added purely role playing mechanics:

"A message from Garios has arrived - and it's a box with the head from a captured family member."

All that would have to happen would be for the game to then kill off your brother (or any other of your captured companions).

"A message from a travelling merchant - I have heard of a formidable warrior/doctor/Scout being held in Seonon prison."

Just stick some good companions in jail's dotted across the map that you can break out, rather them just all sitting in taverns by themselves and instantly available and found using the encyclopedia. It would give more of a reason to use the prison break feature.

That would give you a vendetta to end the northern empire and at least give you a reason for starting a war, other than just because there's nothing else to do

"A message from your council - The Sarranid's are suspected to have been funding a grass roots rebel group in the capital of Phaidon." Followed by - "Phaidon is now in control of a rebel group", if not addressed (cleared out bandits and undercover Sarrinads in the back alleys).

Simple mechanics that would not be difficult to implement..or would not have been in any forethought had gone into the game other than tinkering with pilas and percentages.
I dont necessarily think the game need more quests (that I am unlikely to do anyway, unless forced to?). Especially not if we are talking endgame content.
 
By the way, why do we still have loyalty & security values for castles? Castles can't rebel and all loyalty and security does is slow down building constructions (and a bonus to taxes in the case of high loyalty). I think removing loyalty and security from castles would make them more worthwhile to own. I don't even get why castles consume so much food anyways. Not many people lived in castles, basically only nobles and their servants numbering 20-40 people, maybe. Castles should consume less food (I mean the base consumption, it should still scale with garrison sizes) overall, so that they are harder to starve out.
 

xdj1nn

Knight at Arms
WBWF&S
@Totalgarbage the progression issues are specifically related to the graphs that measure both "challenge vs reward" and "time investment vs reward" - the game plays better at twice the XP rate, and is much more fun and adapted to it's arcade nature with 5x rates - tested it myself and I think that once you get used to it you'll find it hard to disagree (because there's the "used to" factor)
 

froggyluv

Grandmaster Knight
NW
Good original post and I fully agree. I remember back when Mount and Blade was first released and readings its review in some gaming Magazine like Computer Gaming World - "this is a game where you really feel progression when improving weapon skills as well as the AI's progression" -or something to that effect. And that was true, try swinging a 2 handed Axe at a Sea Raider when your a lowly Lvl1 with Two Handed Weapon skill 0f just 20. It was really hard. moving up in skills you finally get to the point where your in game avator can match your reflexes and then some -it was a great feeling. Now the game itself was bared-boned on a fully fleshed RPG but it really wasnt trying to be that and gave you huge (for that time) battles against AI which was a new event.

POP mod came along as well as Brytenwalda and started showing us new and fun different ways that could really flesh out a progression in both RPG and more tactical ways. Guess we just kinda assumed the Devs would get the memo and progress further down this venue.

The thing is -the game has always been a grind, but was rewarding in one way or another -at the the same time needs to keep progressing beyond just graphics but give us real incentive. Why are we STILL fighting boring a$$ Looters who I have to run around a non strategic map to find just to do those same non-eventful battles over and over without any imprint on the world? There was a mod that made Local Lords and Towns respect you for clearing Bandits from there area -why not adopt this? Its a perfect and easy way to make a grind more enjoyable

Anyways we've all said this forever now and its really just becoming an oldManYellingAtCloud.Gif
 
@Totalgarbage the progression issues are specifically related to the graphs that measure both "challenge vs reward" and "time investment vs reward" - the game plays better at twice the XP rate, and is much more fun and adapted to it's arcade nature with 5x rates - tested it myself and I think that once you get used to it you'll find it hard to disagree (because there's the "used to" factor)
Alright then, I might try it myself. I wouldn't be against the devs doubling exp gain, hell, it might even become compulsory if they ever speed up time.

You might remember that I also suggested the character creation to give +20/per focus point to our skills and we could allocate all the points from our age selection + the points from reaching lvl1 at character creating, so that we can start with our skills at 100. So increasing the players' exp gain by x2 may not even be necessary.
 

xdj1nn

Knight at Arms
WBWF&S
Alright then, I might try it myself. I wouldn't be against the devs doubling exp gain, hell, it might even become compulsory if they ever speed up time.

You might remember that I also suggested the character creation to give +20/per focus point to our skills and we could allocate all the points from our age selection + the points from reaching lvl1 at character creating, so that we can start with our skills at 100. So increasing the players' exp gain by x2 may not even be necessary.
that could work but the curve of XP smoothing would need to be decreased. The main issue is reaching the final perks - often what most of us are using are exploits to compensate the ridiculously forced grind required for almost all of the utility skills. Combat's passable, yet slow - but doubling or placing 5x the rates will change a "100 battles grind for a single combat skill" to 50 or 20 respectively - it feels better and less monotonous automatically making the challenges more rewarding and fun while you're leveling. - the issue's that doing so will make the lack of late-game activities much more blatant, and that may be the reason why TW has been trying to nerf everything instead of adding useful and meaningful features.
 
Good original post and I fully agree. I remember back when Mount and Blade was first released and readings its review in some gaming Magazine like Computer Gaming World - "this is a game where you really feel progression when improving weapon skills as well as the AI's progression" -or something to that effect. And that was true, try swinging a 2 handed Axe at a Sea Raider when your a lowly Lvl1 with Two Handed Weapon skill 0f just 20. It was really hard. moving up in skills you finally get to the point where your in game avator can match your reflexes and then some -it was a great feeling. Now the game itself was bared-boned on a fully fleshed RPG but it really wasnt trying to be that and gave you huge (for that time) battles against AI which was a new event.

POP mod came along as well as Brytenwalda and started showing us new and fun different ways that could really flesh out a progression in both RPG and more tactical ways. Guess we just kinda assumed the Devs would get the memo and progress further down this venue.

The thing is -the game has always been a grind, but was rewarding in one way or another -at the the same time needs to keep progressing beyond just graphics but give us real incentive. Why are we STILL fighting boring a$$ Looters who I have to run around a non strategic map to find just to do those same non-eventful battles over and over without any imprint on the world? There was a mod that made Local Lords and Towns respect you for clearing Bandits from there area -why not adopt this? Its a perfect and easy way to make a grind more enjoyable

Anyways we've all said this forever now and its really just becoming an oldManYellingAtCloud.Gif
I agree, the game is simply too grindy. I also hate looters being so commonplace on the world map. But even more than that, the scale of the game is simply so much bigger compared to warband. There are 6 times more units, 3 times more towns and probably also 3 times more castles, etc. There are probably somewhere near 300 villages, something like 70-80 clans, 14 minor clans, each with at least 3 lords and ladies of age which can field troops on the map. Even if the grind is reduced without increasing factions snowballing too much, it will be grindier than warband by default due to the size, no matter what. Some things that greatly exacerbates the feeling of not progressing is the lack of (easy) kingdom destruction and new armies being created very easily after one is destroyed, but perhaps even more so is the lack of any semblance of an "end". One thing that paradox games like EU4 did very well in my opinion is formable kingdoms after owning certain territories and fulfilling some other requirements, but I don't think Bannerlord can do this due to the game being ahistorical (I know Banner Kings mod has/will have this feature, though I don't know how it works/will be working).
 
that could work but the curve of XP smoothing would need to be decreased. The main issue is reaching the final perks - often what most of us are using are exploits to compensate the ridiculously forced grind required for almost all of the utility skills. Combat's passable, yet slow - but doubling or placing 5x the rates will change a "100 battles grind for a single combat skill" to 50 or 20 respectively - it feels better and less monotonous automatically making the challenges more rewarding and fun while you're leveling. - the issue's that doing so will make the lack of late-game activities much more blatant, and that may be the reason why TW has been trying to nerf everything instead of adding useful and meaningful features.
Yeah true, I agree. I've gotten to level 330 in athletics and 2 handed, and while I think levelling athletics was okay after 1.8 , 2 handed was pure torture even with me killing 100+ units per battle with a 2 handed axe cleaving through 2 units at a time.
 
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Sheepify

Regular
The problem is that a lot of it comes from "design" (and I use this term extremely loosely :razz:) decisions.

Removing attributes relationship to equipment removed horizontal progression. You'll no longer get this feeling of "finally" when, after grinding two more levels, you can finally put that 16th point of Strength in to use that masterwork greatsword you bought in-game months ago.

Removing village as an independent fief (seriously, who TF thought this was a good idea when EVERY Warband overhaul mod added to the management of it) removed the whole "now you have a place you need to take care of" potential early-mid-game progression. Meanwhile, we couldn't even get a "build your castle from ground up" (that was possible even in modded Warband) because reasons.

Weapon and combat balance makes it possible to win tournaments with level 1 no-equipment-no-skill character. So you don't even get the kicks from finally being able to swing fast enough to duel Lord This of That. Honestly, the whole character development subsystem is just... bland, with no sense of accomplishment to it. Oh, goodie, another 2% bonus perk.

Clans could've worked as expansion of gameplay, but Taleworlds did nothing with them. Instead of having some kind of back-stabbing and inter- as well as intra-clan intrigues and open warfare, they are just organizational labels with little value to them. I mean, period history pretty much is a cycle of "mom wanted ME to have that cutlery set, not you, you harlot!" conflicts on a larger scale. It's also what drives a lot of "historical" or pure fantasy shows. This is where you could get drama without involving an entire faction into a war against another, and incidentally allow player at lower progression level to get immersed in the "emergent storytelling" part of the game. So we wouldn't have to look up Encyclopedia simply to identify some RandomLord462, but remember them as "oh, yeah, this guy who fought for three years over that village," or "Lady Poison who got me to remove Derphart's firstborn so her hubbie can inherit."

Incidentally, relying on inter- and intra-clan conflict to provide a stepping stone between looter-chasing and full-on factional warfare would not just add another layer of game progression, you could use that mechanic to control faction snowballing potential as well. Having uppity lords go at it behind the rulers' back would be enough to provide the necessary drama (and smaller-scale conflicts to let the player advance) without having to worry about half the map being repainted in months.

Crusader Kings showed very well how it worked (Gavelkind, nevah furgit). Doesn't need to be that level of details, but some kind of relationship system between nobles (and possible notables) was absolutely warranted.

FFS, even village notables should have some quests to remove an aspiring competitor (or the other way around), and related to competition with other villages for better terms/warehousing rights/sales contacts in the city. At the very least.

Entertainment without conflict is bland, and you can't just go "randomly-spawned-'bandits' and faction wars take care of it, we're done," especially considering the settings.

Then again, the whole game is just unambitious to the point of being a pile of wasted potential, and what's there doesn't even work that well.

Meh.
 
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